Local guardsmen prepare for special trip to Europe

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The 42nd Infantry was created during the Great War.  In remembering those who have fallen and the group’s inception, a select group of soldiers are preparing for a special trip.

It’s been nearly 100 years since the end of World War I, and the 42nd Infantry is memorializing that with a trip to France.

“It’s hard to really understand what they went through.”

20 year-old specialist Steven Snyder is one of 25 soldiers from Troy’s 42nd Infantry, hand-picked by their commanders to travel to France.  They’re commemorating World War I by trekking hallowed grounds, the same grounds soldiers of this infantry walked 100 years ago.

“The division lost more than 3,000 casualties over the course of World War I, and the real key battles that the division played a part in really started in July of 1918,” according to Crnl. Richard Goldenber, New York National Guard.

Snyder is a last-minute addition to the trip. His fascination with the war is part of the reason why he was chosen.

“It’s one thing to read and listen to and learn about all the things they did 100 years ago in France, but it’s another thing to go there.”

“These are very high visibility events.”

Commanders make sure that the soldiers’ uniforms are in tip-top shape for the French hosted events, not only representing their infantry, but their country.

“We want to make sure our young soldiers present the best possible appearance, their uniforms are up to date, and they’re ready to go.”

“Everything in the military is precision.”

The ribbons and medals that adorn their suits all have a precise measurement.

“Whether it be the collar or the sleeve, everything has to be in the correct spot.”

Though Snyder says he hopes to never experience a great war like this, he says he’s grateful for this trip, remembering the first soldiers of his division that has outlived its service to the war.

The 25 soldiers begin their trek across the ocean on Monday.

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